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00:30:00

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Us 6, California 3, San Francisco 3, Rebecca Randell 2, Michael Niland 1, Tommy 1, Hennesy 1, Rick Phillips 1, Melinda 1, Rick 1, Holly Lawrence 1, Youngstrom 1, Amina Stacy 1, Has People Looking 1, Minnie 1, Jill 1, Dr. Becky Cohen Vargas 1, Seth 1, Cheryl 1, Maine 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    January 21, 2013
    2:00 - 2:30pm PST  

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>> some of them have. of course reading, having the interaction with tom as a legislator, we're good friends and he has spearheaded taking the personal from the families' perspective and his own experiences and targeted it toward legislation. there's far too much of it. part of the training, the law that was passed talks about school personnel reporting but doesn't cover volunteers. how do we reach out to make sure the campus volunteers are also trained? how do we have the victims find a way to be brave enough to report it, that they are being bullied and to talk to some trusted adult about that. >> and see those things don't cost money. one gets very artful, as the former senator knows, when you good out before appropriations, the committee where everything dies. because there's a price tag, i feel like minnie pearl that i have a
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little price tag on the bill. we did informal surveys and found a lot of schools had programs. these things are mostly codifying something or alerting the principal and in that way you can deal with the budget monster. and then people -- this is so much on the radar -- you have i guess it's a good thing, you have members who never would have dealt with this competing for who could be the biggest anti-bully person. and that's good. i mean it's healthy. but the other thing is we get all this feedback either through email or, gee, seth's law is not being enforced yet in my district, what's the story? so then we call up and find out, well, the bill just went into effect 3
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days ago or something, but at least there's this back and forth now which i also think is very healthy. so you have the investment of the constituents and they have a focus i haven't seen in a long time around many issues. so we will experience that success and won't have to affect the state economically, but as always when you are in crisis you want it taken care of right then and there. i think we're moving faster than the usual glacial pace in sacramento. >> isn't there a learning curve, now you have the new law in place, you have to get that to the teachers, you have to get that to law enforcement, everybody has to know about it. >> there's quite a few things in the community that are already happening. if you can bring everyone together, you know, it's almost like with
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teachers and we used to call it in servicing, a lot of people think you wouldn't want to go to an in service. teachers are always hungry for stuff. i believe in the law enforcement community and the other convenient tues we're talking about, they are already there. they got the itch. with some leadership from the community or a faith organization or a parent i think it will actualize. >> the sunnyvale safety and police department have been really spectacular and have spearheaded this with officer holly lawrence. she has the program, it's in place, we call it train the trainer where we train other police officers to take it back to their counties. it's a spectacular program and is available now. >> so we don't have to wait. >> a good thing about the digital age is we're going to take some of the best practices, we're going to make
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it available. you get school officials to think how does this fit into the queue of things i did and should be doing, tlau our web site, focus of expertise and other places, indicate what are those programs that work that help students understand the issue, help the adults, we have 330,000 teachers, as you say, cheryl, how do we get to the 330,000 teachers, the training for this. but with digital sharing of best practices i think we can get there. as rob was mentioning, there are great programs that emerge from often tragedies but they bring the community together. the movie bullying has a couple of those instances aware of and san mateo's respect everyone 24/7 has people looking at how do we respect each other as human beings and understand our
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differences and embrace those and be a community of care. >> i think a very practical thing, too, is that there somehow be established an adult that kids will trust or young people will trust. when we started out with lgbt sensitivity that was one of the things because a push back from the school district, well, that's going to cost money. but we found teachers, we started with elementary and went up to middle who would volunteer for that, straight or gay. then we put the word out, if you are having these kind of problems, we saw some very graphic instances that even the sensitized adults didn't understand, they didn't realize it. a lot of it in those days, i'm a teacher and i love my profession, a lot of it was in the faculty rooms, too. you learn from kids. it's all laid out there for you and
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that's another thing if you have the sensitized adult then you don't spend any money, that adult is there are there. >> we have about 3 minutes left for each of you to make a final comment. mr. neighbors, starting with you. >> just like to share with you, my wife and i are frequently asked, are you against the internet and everything digital. no, there's a lot of good out there. after jill's death i had to take a month off of work, went back to work and the first day back at work my wife calls me, we just got a phone message from a tailor asking we return the phone call. so i called the louisiana number that was left and a little young voice answered the phone. i asked, is this tailor? a little young voice said, is
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this robert neighbor? the only person who calls me robert is my mom and this was not my mom. she went on to say she was thinking of committing suicide and she went on you tube and found some videos that some of jill's friend had made about jill. and she thought, if somebody loves jill that much, maybe somebody loves me. i'm always touched by that. >> some day bullying will be something of the past. i also wanted to say we need to work and i see representatives here of cities and counties because those same children are on sports teams under the city rec department, they are receiving services and they are in programs with the county and so having this training, having this awareness go beyond the schools is really important. so i thought i'd mention that. the other thing that we are
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moving towards in education is more digital. we'll see less textbooks and more digital learning and with that we are promoting a digital literacy policy which deals with a number of issues and i'm going to go back and look at the draft policy to see how well it deals with the kind of issues rob and your family have dealt with in terms of using the internet safely and being aware of the harm you can do to yourself and to others by the way digital news can get around. >> assemblyman. >> thank you very much. i'm very, very heartened. this was an issue that's been in the closet for too long. i think high profile nationally now as well and we have super stars involved, lady gaga, myself, but you got to reach young people. usually peers are the best, i think, in terms of communicating things and then
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absolutely the parents. let's keep working, i'm only as good as the information i have and so we want to do the most effective long-lasting legislation. you know what happens sometimes, something is written in law but the attitudes don't change. so that is the human part, that is the part that should have consequences and not be ignored. otherwise the legislation really isn't doing what it's supposed to do, so thank you all very much. i really give a shout out to san francisco unified because they have been very, very on top of this issue, way ahead of the curve. >> thank you, gentlemen, so much. (applause). >> just a couple of comments. we're not going to take a big official break. if people need to get up individually, please do so. we have one more panel then we will take a break, a
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lunch break, lunch will be served at the table and you will have time at that point to chat with people and to take a break. before we move to the next panel, if i could have your attention, please, i just want to acknowledge some of the people in the room today are our law enforcement partners. and some of them have come almost directly from a funeral yesterday of a fallen hero, kenyon youngstrom, of the california hunters point. i want to eepblg the loss of one of our heroes on the california hunters point, kenyon youngstrom, who protect us and keep us safe every day. we acknowledge you and know you are heroes and we are very, very sorry for the loss of officer youngstrom. our third panel is called
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prevention and community engagement, promising approaches to stop bullying in the bay area. our moderator is rebecca randell, vice president of education programs at common sense media based here in san francisco. we became ka is responsible for partnering with school districts and departments of education across the country to help children and youth learn how to think critically, behave safely and participate responsibly in our digital world which we all have heard brings its own complications. she oversees the department's education staff, working in the 3 largest districts in the country, new york, denver, maine, texas, florida, and the bay area. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome rebecca randell. >> great, thank you, melinda.
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i'm going to ask you all to come up now. as they get seated i'll say a few words. all these panelists really bring a great wealth of experience and wisdom to what on the one hand is actually a really complicated issue and on the other hand at its very core is somewhat simple. whether it's online or off-line, bullying and harassment or as the teens that we encounter at common sense media often say, drama, it's about power. as you heard the boy on the video say, i'm the big dog. who has it, who wants it and who wants to keep it. i realize this is an incredibly simple definition so i will leave it to our panel to pick it apart and to delve deeper. each of our panelists will have the opportunity to give a brief introduction of who they are and their organizations and after we've done the rounds i will pose a series of questions to eefrp of they will and then
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you will all have the opportunity to interact with them yourselves so we can have a really dynamic conversation. the one thing i will say before introducing our first panelists is we are going to try to keep all these introductions brief so i will give my friendly reminder to the panel, i don't have a buzz button or anything, and i won't really cult you off, but i will try to keep it brief. without further ado, our first panelist is dr. becky cohen vargas who is director of not in our schools san francisco. >> i am actually director of not in our schools which is part of not in our town. here in the bay area we have one
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because sometimes we think these things don't happen here, but they do. transgender student killed, gwen arejo, we have a short film. we are a move president and we are about youth taking a move to stop bullying but also intolerance with the statement not in our school, not in our
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town. . >> based on the idea that students can lead the way in creating a better school. >> people can do something right and you all have a chance to make a difference in a person's life. >> we're excited about the not in our school web site because it's a wonderful way for teachers and students to come together on issues of empowerment so they can learn from each other. >> if you say the word, that is so gay, is it necessary that you say something about it. >> it is a peer to peer story-sharing site. >> whenever you are able to take where someone is coming from and gives you a place to
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find common ground. >> (inaudible). >> young people can see stories and say what can we do, how do we treat each other? then they develop their own innovative way to create change in their school. music, plays, art, mapping. >> 97 freshmen feel there's bullying in the cafeteria. >> i honestly didn't feel we have as much bullying as other students think so that was an opportunity to keep going. >> we are all different in our all different ways. >> you need everybody. >> as we filmed these stories around the country, we've seen the powerful conversations that have surfaced when they have the deeper understanding of what it means not to take action. >> we can trace racism and
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prejudice all the way back. we may not be able to make amends for what maybe our an ancestors did, but we can stop some of these things from happening in the future. >> we are becoming empowered. i will make a difference. >> when a community sees its young people stand up to resist intolerance, to resist bullying, they can say why can't we take this to a larger level? they can lead and change an entire community. >> i can be the person that helps the world. >> thanks, becky, and thank you for keeping it short. rick phillips, executive director of community matters. >> on your tables we put a couple of slides. good morning. the challenge of 3 minutes to speak about programs that are
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best practices, i probably used up half my time just saying that. let me be clear as the next slide would come up, the problem of bullying is changing, morphing, mutating, younger, meaner, more pervasive as kids have more tools. i want to be clear that the approach that our nation has taken to date is out of the ashes of columbine. we refer to it as an outside approach. what most schools did back then was try to secure a school from ingress, guns coming in and sro's and cameras can stop the guns but they can't stop the kids who bring in other weapons, weapons of bias, weapons of grudges from the neighborhood, values from home. we need to have a different approach. the approach we are talking about is a relational approach. it's an inside out approach, an approach really based on empowering young people not to be consumers but to be contributors in their own schools, not to be the problems
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but to be the solutions because clearly we've learned and know that we cannot legislate compassion and we cannot punish our children into being kind. we've tried. we've spent billions of dollars with policies that are punitive, not restoretive, policies that punish but don't give young people the opportunity to correct and to fix the harm. so one of the lessons that our organization, community matters, has done for 12 years has been singularly focused on one mission and that is waking up the courage of our children to stand up and speak up when they see injustice, when they witness intolerance and incivility. and that is the best approach we have because it's a social norms change problem. it's a people problem, it's not a policy problem. waking up the courage of our children is what we've done through this program, if we can move the slides forward, called safe school ambassadors. basically what we do in my
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remaining 18 seconds is to go into our public schools and identify alpha social leaders of different cliques believing if we could identify first and enroll the leaders of different kinds of groups we can seed each group with a social change agent, each one teaching one, each one reaching one by modeling the intervention behaviors we teach these young people and here's what we know after 12 years: a thousand public schools in 32 states, more than 500 schools here in california, hundreds here within the bay area, is that the kids who we train and equip to raise their voice then intervene with their friends because with their friends they feel safe. they've got emotional chips in the bank, they have history, and they can model each one teach one, each one reach one, we have trained over 40 kids in the first year, a couple hundred young people
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at each school and they intervene at a minimum of two times a week. when you have the leaders of different cliques beginning to raise their voices, raise their courage because they are always bystanders, we are beginning to change social norms that makes it cool to be cruel and makes it more likely for kids to be cruel to be kind. that's the job we have to do more than anything else and it will take our courage and their courage to make that happen. the good news is we have done research studies and we have evidence, as we move the slides forward and you have it if you go to our web site, that it works. when you begin to create a social tipping point by educating young people to raise their voice and giving them a tool so they feel more competent to do it, they will naturally do it. it is their nature. as they do it, other kids, positive social peer influence, do it. we change the norms in our school.
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suspensions have decreased nationally in the thousand schools we've been in by more than 30 percent, discipline referrals go down because young people are defusing the escalating interrupting, preventing and stopping injustice. do we have the courage as a nation to stop focusing on the problem and begin to really understand the best cost effective solution is to empower our young people? treat them not as empty bottles to be filled but candle sz to be lit. and i hope we can all use our collective voices today to spread a message of empowerment, justice and courage. courage. thank you . >> thanks, rick, i think we'll dig into that message of empowerment a little bit more deeply. next up is.
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>> our president was unable to be with us today but sends her greetings from washington, dc i hope you all have the handouts on the table that describe our organization. basically for the last 20 years, our organization has challenged stereotypes and misinformation about muslims and their faith, true education. we believe the bias and discrimination and hate that we see is generally commonly based on lack of information or misinformation and we believe that by providing accurate face to face information about any group that is the best way to combat bias and discrimination. so that's what we've been focusing on for the last 20 years. we go out to schools and other convenient tues and basically talk about what it means to be an american muslim. we have other related presentations that we do as well and a few years ago we also launched an
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interfaith speakers bureau where we take out representatives of the 5 major religions and do the same thing and we model in front of high school and middle school students how the faiths can sit down like we are sitting here today and have conversations about our commonalities but about our differences as well. many of the comments we get from students is, wow, you guys can sit up there and talk because most of the pictures our students see are the ones that have been playing across our screens the last 2 or 3 days. we hope by challenging that we can prevent bullying and harassment we've been seeing here today. >> thank you, amina stacy is manager of communications for the los angeles giants. >> if you think about what our
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mission is, you probably think our mission is to win the world series every year, which hopefully this year we're on the right track, but actually our mission statement, we just went through an exercise but our mission statement has always been to enrich the community through innovation. and it's very, i am very proud of the fact that the giants have been able to take that mission and bring it into the community through really dynamic partnership with the experts in the field. about 14 years ago, tommy short, my friend in the audience, came to us with sheriff hennesy and asked us to take on a controversial topic of violence and it was 14 years ago we hosted stamp out violence today. we brought together victims of violence, offenders, community leaders working on this issue to raise awareness about the impact of
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violence in our community. at that time the message was violence is learned and can be unlearned. the thing that the giants have and the reason why we're here today as part of this panel is we have this unique ability to create a platform with role model sz in our community to speak out about uncomfortable and controversial but important issues in our community. strike out violence day was one of those issues, we've done it with until there's a cure day and last year we were very very proud to create a video with part of the it gets better campaign which i think we have a copy today that we'll roll quickly for you. our players, for better or worse, and i do say that, have a significant impact on young people in our community today and if we can steer them in a positive direction to send messages about antibullying and antiviolence, our players are more than willing to do so. i want to quickly show the it
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gets better video that showed last year, we were the first professional team to do so. it was filmed with the cooperation of all the partners throughout the bay area that provide the us with the expertise to talk about these important issues. >> we all know how difficult life can be as a teenager. >> we've all been there (inaudible). >> we promise you, it does get better. >> please visit
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itgetsbetter.org for more information. >> thanks, stacy, and it can get better especially if we are all working together which is what today is all about. last but not least, michael niland, program coordinator for the api wellness center. >> they model over 20 cultures, speak over 10 different languages, whether they are straight or gay, transgender, lesbian, we have them all. when we listen to their stories we see common themes, things like i can't come out it my dad because he'll beat me up. things like i can't tell my friends i'm gay, i'll lose them. i feel like i don't have anyone, i'm better off dead. these stories come up over and over again. it's not new news
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that safe spaces isn't enough any more. we can't just provide that safe space. we really have to take a look at where they are coming from and listening to their stories and assessing what they want from us as service providers. in my experience the most flourishing circumstances where youth have become strong and become independent from situations where they have been bullied or they have been discriminated against are times when we have given them power, we have given them a voice, we've given them a chance to say, hey, this is what i want to do and this is how i'm going to strip away that pain and hurt and i'm going to transform it to a mural. i'm going to tell the liquor store to stop selling alcohol to youth. i'm going to present my views at a national convention and that's w

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